CIRCL Newsletter – Issue 35, March 2019


In like a lion & out like a lamb–we hope March has been a productive month as spring sits right around the corner. It was good to see many of you at SIGCSE at the beginning of the month! This year was the 50th anniversary of SIGCSE, and as a capstone to the event, the ACM recognized the Top Ten Computer Science Education Research Papers of the Last 50 Years. Check them out! A noteworthy development over the past two decades of the conference has been the growth of K-12 introductory computer science — and now computational thinking — outreach and research as a substantial presence. While CS coursework and CT integration are not yet ubiquitous in America’s schools, the rise of CS and CT in K-12 is undeniable. SIGCSE and the wider cyberlearning community has been instrumental in fostering such growth. Yet, there is still much to be done. In this issue, check out the latest CIRCL Perspective with Jane Margolis, who points out that while there have been admirable gains with more equitable access and participation in computing, we are still quite far from a state in which CS truly is for all. Jane’s questioning of the “why?” behind computing education represents a crucial starting point, and her sentiments are shared by others, including fellow Perspectives Yasmin Kafai, Aman Yadav, and Sheena Vaidyanathan.

Of course part of the why? behind computing education relates to defining the nebulous term “computational thinking“. But there is also a pressing need to develop tools and frameworks for effectively assessing CT in classrooms, and ensure these measures are inclusive of a wide range of diverse learners. To this end, check out two new CIRCL Primers this month — the first on Assessing Computational Thinking and the second on Neuroscience Education.

Cyberlearning 2017 attendees

Last but not least, the call for participation for the Cyberlearning 2019 is now available!

Please also read down for a boatload of relevant NSF funding; and be sure to follow us on Twitter to get the latest updates!

Cyberlearning 2019: Call for Participation


Cyberlearning 2019: Exploring Contradictions in Achieving Equitable Futures will provide opportunities to join colleagues with diverse expertise and perspectives to explore the tensions that arise as research teams expand the boundaries of learning, and explore learning in the context of working with technology. The meeting will also provide opportunities to strategize around Big Ideas, including those NSF has already prioritized for funding. Share and learn what has been accomplished in cyberlearning projects, envision future research, and join forces with new colleagues! See the full Call for Participation and apply to attend by April 26.

NSF Opportunities: STEM+C, HDR, C-Accel, GCR, ECR:PEER, & More

STEM + Computing K-12 Education (STEM+C) invites proposals for research and development to integrate computing within STEM teaching and learning for preK-12 students in both formal and informal settings (see flyer). Proposals will be accepted now through May 1, 2019 and will be reviewed and funded on a rolling basis until all funds for 2019 are obligated.

Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering – Frameworks (I-DIRSE-FW).The HDR Institutes activity seeks to create an integrated fabric of interrelated institutes that can accelerate discovery and innovation in multiple areas of data-intensive science and engineering. Proposals due May 7, 2019.

DCL: NSF Convergence Accelerator Pilot (NSF C-Accel) aims to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance, and initiate convergence team-building capacity around exploratory, potentially high-risk proposals in three convergence topics (tracks). Two-page Research Concept Outlines are due April 15, 2019.

DCL: Supporting the Re-Entry of Women and Women Veterans in the STEM Workforce through NSF INCLUDES invites supplemental funding requests for traineeships and conference proposals that support efforts to enhance the STEM knowledge base, skillset, leadership and management capacities, and/or contributions to the STEM enterprise of women following a career break. Proposals due April 15, 2019.

Growing Convergence Research (GCR) invites proposals for multi-disciplinary team research that crosses directorate or division boundaries and is currently not supported by NSF programs, initiatives and research-focused Big Ideas. Proposals due May 8, 2019.

EHR Core Research: Production Engineering Education and Research (ECR: PEER) invites proposals that address foundational research in the design, development, and deployment of creative online curricula in model-based systems engineering, software engineering, mechatronics, data science, and artificial intelligence. Proposals due May 15, 2019.

ADVANCE: Organizational Change for Gender Equity in STEM Academic Professions invites proposals to enhance factors that support equity and inclusion and to mitigate those that create inequities in the academic profession and workplaces. Letter of Intent for Adaptation and Partnership competition due May 15, 2019; Catalyst proposals due June 3, 2019.

Smart and Connected Communities (S&CC) invites proposals that address fundamental technological and social science dimensions of smart and connected communities and pilot solutions together with communities. Letter of intent due August 6, 2019; proposals due September 6, 2019.

DCL: Transitioning the NSF Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering (BIGDATA) Program. Replacing the BIGDATA program, NSF encourages submissions to several new and continuing programs that fund innovative, interdisciplinary research in data science.

New CIRCL Primers: Assessing CT, Neuroscience & Education

CIRCL Primers are brief summaries of big ideas in cyberlearning, used to build capacity in the field and to give people a sense of cyberlearning’s main themes. CIRCL is pleased to announce two new primers co-authored by members of the cyberlearning community and CIRCL staff:

Primers are developed by small teams of volunteers, and published under a Creative Commons license. Want to write or contribute to a primer? Learn how.

Featured Perspective: Meet Jane Margolis

Meet Jane Margolis

Jane Margolis is a Senior Researcher at the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and the lead author of Stuck in the Shallow End: Education, Race, and Computing (MIT Press 2008) and (w/ Allan Fisher) Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing ( MIT Press 2002). Her work focuses on race, class, and gender issues in STEM education in the American school system.

How did you become involved in computer science education and writing around technology and computing in particular?

It was a circuitous route. It probably began with my seven years working as one of the first women telephone installers in the 70s, and loving the job that had up until that time been a male-only job. Then, jumping ahead to my time a doctoral student in Education, I was very interested in the question of gender socialization and I’ve always been interested in power, inequality, and in how we get socialized to believe we can do this, but not that. So, I come from an Education background, not a computer science background. But, after I finished my doctorate, I was in Pittsburgh and I was approached by the Provost of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) about helping the Computer Science department conduct a study about why there were so few women studying computer science. I met with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education in the School of Computer Science, Allan Fisher, and the idea of the two of us collaborating to tackle this problem seemed like a good fit. I was excited by the challenging problem and working across disciplines. I came from the qualitative researcher world and Allan came from the quantitative computer science world, and we both thought that this would only strengthen our work. We ended up doing four years of research together examining the low recruitment and retention rate of women students, and what these women’s general experiences were within the program. We, along with our team member Faye Miller, followed 100 students (male and female) for four years. After our study concluded, Allan and I wrote Unlocking the Clubhouse: Women in Computing (MIT, 2002). Read more of Jane Margolis’s perspective.

Calls & Announcements: ICER, JLS, LearnLab, ICCE, & More

Call for Papers: Journal of the Learning Sciences, Special Issue on Learning In and For Collective Social Action. Proposals are invited for papers on the political and ethical dimensions of our designs and scholarship. Abstracts due April 15.

Beginning in 2021, ISLS will hold one annual meeting that each year features two concurrent programs: one reflecting research typically presented at CSCL and the other typical of ICLS. Each program will publish its own proceedings, and program committees will be independent but coordinated Learn more.

The International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE) 2019) will be held December 2-6, 2019, Kenting, Taiwan. Calls for papers are available for seven themes. Submissions due May 20, 2019.

Call for Applications: Simon Initiative’s LearnLab Summer School, to be held July 29 – August 2, 2019 at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA. The summer school will provide a conceptual background and considerable hands-on experience in developing, running and analyzing technology-enhanced learning experiments. Application deadline: May 10, 2019.

Call for Papers: ASSETS 2019: The 21st International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, October 28–30, 2019 in Pittsburgh, PA, invites papers on design, evaluation, use, and education related to computing for people with disabilities and older adults.

The International Journal on Innovations in Online Education (IJIOE) invites articles about innovations in online higher education. IJIOE has a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) online education. Articles are invited after discussion; see published articles and contact John R. Bourne with any questions or to discuss a possible article.

Working Group on Instrumented Learning Spaces (WGILS)

Understanding collaborative processes in an instrumented learning space calls on convergent expertise — from learning sciences, from psychology, and from computer science and design. Recently, over a dozen interdisciplinary scholars participated in a CIRCL Working Group on Instrumented Learning Spaces at the NYU Tandon Makerspace in Brooklyn. Working in small groups, participants designed and prototyped a cup and saucer—one of which was made entirely out of food—in Makerspace. Skeleton tracking, multi-channel audio, and radio-located positions were recorded throughout to produce a rich, multimodal dataset which will be annotated and made public. The dataset will become an open resource to advance the study of collaboration in instrumented learning space. Learn more.

Job Opportunities: ijCSCL, WPI, Utah State, ETH Zurich

Also see #learningsciencesjobs

ISLS seeks a new Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (ijCSCL) for 2020–2023. Applications are welcome from individuals or from a team of co-Editors-in-Chief.

WPI invites applications for a postdoctoral research scientist in Learning Analytics and Educational Data Mining (full time, 12 months, for up to 2 years) under the direction of Dr. Erin Ottmar in the Learning Sciences and Technologies Program.

Utah State University invites applications for a postdoctoral scholar to join the Coding in Kindergarten research team and conduct research and design related to computational thinking and mathematical problem solving in early childhood education.

ETH Zurich’s Institute for Learning Sciences and Higher Education, chaired by Prof. Manu Kapur, is inviting applications for several positions, including:

Resource & Tech Corner

Introduced in a keynote at the 9th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, the Baker Learning Analytics Prizes represent a set of six contests for researchers in learning analytics/ educational data mining/artificial intelligence and education, and related fields. Check out the enticing Grand Challenges for Learning Analytics in Ryan’s keynote slides.

Education Leadership Data Analytics (ELDA): A White Paper Report on the 2018 ELDA Summit summarizes central issues, themes, and recommendations for the use of evidence-based improvement cycles in schools to promote instructional improvement. Recommendations include building capacity in the field by incentivizing researcher practitioner partnerships; providing networking opportunities, professional development, certification, and degree programs to ELDA researchers and practitioners; and ensuring equity, data security, privacy, and open data standards to develop and share de-identified data and tools across contexts.

Minority Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce (2019) from The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends actions to increase investments in MSIs that benefit students, their communities, the national workforce, and the economy. “There are over 20 million young people of color in the United States whose representation in STEM education pathways and in the STEM workforce is still far below their numbers in the general population. Their participation could help re-establish the United States’ preeminence in STEM innovation and productivity, while also increasing the number of well-educated STEM workers.”

10 Big Insights on Teaching, Learning, and STEM Education: 100Kin10’s Trends Report for 2018 reflects on 5 trends from 2018 and makes 5 predictions for 2019, based on input from their partner organizations.

Hive Research Lab announces the release of Brokering Youth Pathways: A toolkit for connecting youth to future opportunity. The toolkit shares ways that out-of-school educators and professionals have approached the challenge of brokering, and provides a framework, practice briefs, and reports that focus on a range of issues and challenges related to connecting youth to opportunity.

Books & Publications

Have a recent publication or article about your cyberlearning project, or that you think the community should know about? Let us know and we’ll announce it here!

Klopfer, E., Haas, J., Osterweil, S., & Rosenheck, L. (2018). Resonant Games: Design Principles for Learning Games that Connect Hearts, Minds, and the Everyday. MIT Press.

Silvis D., Kalir J., Taylor K.H. (2019). Learning and Researching Across Places in Mobile City Science. In: Zhang Y., Cristol D. (eds) Handbook of Mobile Teaching and Learning. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Share Your News

Have some news (project highlights, publications, job opportunities, etc.) that you want to share? Contact CIRCL.

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CIRCL is supported by NSF grants IIS-1233722, IIS-1441631, and IIS-1556486. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.